From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published August 27, 2007 03:48 PM

Israeli Researchers To Investigate Ocean Energy Source

University of Haifa, Israel - The University of Haifa in cooperation with Stanford University, is embarking on a unique, wide-ranging research effort to investigate energy production using a gas lying just below the sea floor, as an alternative to oil.

The project will be launched by the new School for Marine Studies at the University of Haifa.

"One of the primary goals of the school is to evaluate the possibility of turning gas lying at the sea floor into a valuable economic resource in order to eliminate dependence on oil and change the geo-political reality in the world," said Leon Charney, who donated an initial $8 million for the establishment of the School of Marine Sciences. The institute will bear his name. Mr. Charney, an American businessman, hopes to turn the School at the University of Haifa into a world leader in ocean energy research.

"At a time when the entire world is concerned about the future of the planet, the University of Haifa is spearheading new research on the subjects of water and energy, where all of our futures lie. Our research will focus on producing alternative energy from water instead of oil ”“ a revolution in the field. We are pleased that Stanford University is cooperating with us in this important research," added Charney, who stressed that this source of energy exists all over the planet and its production will eliminate the dependence on oil that is concentrated in a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Heading the Stanford research team will be Prof. Amos Nur, renowned as a leading researcher in the field of energy studies. Stanford University announced that they will provide access to all of their laboratories to the research team, which includes University of Haifa faculty, in order to advance the joint research project.


The School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa will focus on interdisciplinary research on a variety of subjects in the field of marine studies ”“ from geology, geophysics and biology to marine strategy and archaeology. The School of Marine Sciences will include a course for naval officers studying for a B.A. at the University of Haifa. The school will purchase new equipment which will enable marine research projects that will examine the intrinsic possibilities for producing alternative energy from the sea.

President of the University of Haifa, Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, thanked Mr. Charney for his generous donation and stated that the School for Marine Sciences will cooperate with other leading academic institutes around the world. "This new school embodies the two main focuses of the University of Haifa ”“ interdisciplinary research and international cooperation with academic institutions worldwide," he said.

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